According to the American Pet Products Association, 63.4 million US households in 2020 had at least one dog. If you are one of these households and have experienced pet damage to your lawn then you know not all grass is created equal.
From digging, running, and urinating, dogs can wreak havoc on your lawn. Factoring in dogs when deciding on grass type is often an oversight, but is crucial if you wish to achieve and keep a healthy lush lawn.
There are several things to consider when you are in the market for new grass or replacing grass due to pet damage. In this article, we will give you the knowledge you need to make the most informed decision for your lawn.
Detailed below you will find the qualities to search for in grass and our top grass picks for dog owners.
If you are currently dealing with damages to your lawn or need tips on how to prevent these pet damages, check out our detailed blog on “How to Protect Your Lawn from Pet Damage.”
Qualities of a Dog Resilient Grass
There are a few things that make some grass types more dog resistant than others and possess these common qualities:
- A deep root system: Since dogs will inevitably do what dogs do best, sprinting and digging up grass, having a grass type that will have deep roots is desirable. If grass roots are deep and anchored well into the ground, this will limit the amount of barren grass patches created in your lawn. In addition to being dog friendly, a deep root system is favorable to create a healthy lawn. The deeper and stronger the root system, the healthier your lawn will be.
- A rapid growth rate: When those pet damages do occur, its best to have a grass that will bounce back fast. With a fast-growing grass, dead patches in your lawn won’t last as long and will replenish faster.
Picking an Optimal Grass Type for Your Area
Although there are several grass types that are more preferable for dog owners, one of the most important factors to consider before deciding on a type is the climate in your area.
Some grasses thrive only in certain areas of the country due to cold or warm temperatures. Knowing if you need a cool season grass versus a warm season grass is imperative. Find your growing zone here
In addition to considering climate, you should also determine the amount of sun exposure your lawn has. A mostly shaded lawn will require a completely different grass type than one that is fully exposed to sun all day.
Top Dog Friendly Grass Types
This grass is very tolerant of high traffic from dogs. Bermudagrass is a popular choice for dog owners due to its deep roots and ability to rapidly recover from damage. This grass is so durable, it is commonly used on golf courses.
Climate type: warm season grass and grows best in zones 7 to 10.
Considerations: thrives in full sun and is not shade tolerant. Will go dormant during cold season, making it possibly not as resistant to dog damages during that time.
This grass, like bermudagrass, is also a great pick due to its durability. It is remarkably dense allowing it to withstand all the dog paw traffic. However, unlike bermudagrass, it recovers from damage at a slower rate.
Climate type: warm season grass & grows best in zones 5 to 11.
Considerations: tolerates full sun and minimal shade. Just like bermudagrass, it will go dormant during the cold season creating the possibility of less durability during that time.
If you desire a dog friendly lawn that requires extremely low maintenance but is still very dog resistant, then centipede grass is it. It’s known for its minimal upkeep compared to other grass types.
Climate type: warm season grass & grows best in zones 7 to 10.
Considerations: this grass has the slowest growth rate of warm season grasses. Although this grass is low maintenance, it does require very specific climate and soil needs to survive.
If you want a lush grass that is low maintenance, fescue grass is a great option. It has a deep root system that is sure to stay anchored even with your active dog at play.
Climate type: cool-season grass & grows best in zones 4 to 6.
Considerations: is shade and drought-resistant. It possesses the ability to stay green all year round.
This popular grass is another great dog-friendly option. It stands up not only to high dog traffic but also grazing. In addition, it has a great ability to self-repair. As the name suggests, it grows to have a pretty blue-hued tone to it.
Climate type: cool-season grass & grows best in zones 2 to 6.
Considerations: Is not very shade tolerant or drought resistant. Since it self-repairs rapidly it can require more maintenance like mowing and fertilization.
If you’re wanting grass for your pup to run around on and don’t want to wait around for a long time for it to grow, then perineal rye is a great option. It has a very fast germination rate, which means you will achieve your lush lawn in no time. It is also used in conjunction with other grass types to complement them.
Climate type: cool-season grass & grows best in zones 3 to 7.
Considerations: requires sun to partial shade and also can involve more maintenance such as watering and fertilizing.
Need Help Deciding Which Grass Type Is Best for Your Lawn?
Gecko Green is here to help! Our lawn care specialists are trained to give you personalized recommendations based on your lawn and dog.
We can help you achieve the lawn of your dreams even with your dog running around. Call Gecko Green today to discuss all the options available and receive a free quote!